Our All Electric Off-Grid Kitchen
We’ve been living off-grid as nomads for over 10 years now and to say we’ve learned a lot would be an understatement. Our traveling homes have gone from glamping in our gold 1985 Volkswagon Vanagon (back when Jason’s hair was longer than mine), to four different RV’s to now living in one of the most remote areas of the south pacific aboard our catamaran.
As our homes have evolved, so have our skills for managing resources. And, the area where most of our resources are consumed…is in the kitchen. It’s where most of our water and power get used up and we spend a fair chunk of our time each day in and around the galley (because that’s what a kitchen on a boat is called).
The galley is our communal center point. We love food, we love to cook and we love making an event out of it. We can make a whole day revolve around what eventually ends up on the dinner table. Spearfishing, foraging…a trip to the outdoor market, it’s all part of the adventure.
We spend so much time in the galley both on and off camera yet, we haven’t given you a tour or talked much about our appliances (which many of you have asked about frequently). So, without further ado, here is a full tour (with all major appliances explained) of our off-grid, all-electric, floating kitchen.
Being that this is an off-grid home (as are all vessels when they aren’t plugged into shore power) it’s important to first note where our resources come from.
Of course, we have a whole section here on our site dedicated to all things off-grid for more details on our current or past setups: gonewiththewynns.com/living-off-grid-rv-sailboat
Water is obviously a necessary resource. We have two videos/posts fully covering how we get water and how we purify it for drinking/cooking.
- How We Get Water: gonewiththewynns.com/boat-life-get-water
- How We Purify Water: gonewiththewynns.com/boat-life-squeaky-clean-water
Right now, our main source of water is rain capture. Which, if you watched the video, you’ll see is a high tech bucket and flipper combo. We also have a small tarp system we use on the deck when our tanks are low.
Typically we use our Reverse Osmosis water maker to turn seawater into drinking water. Unfortunately, it is a high powered 40 gallon per hour system that requires a generator to run. Our generator has been out of commission for a while now which means we can’t power our water maker. Both the gene and water maker were already part of our boat when we purchased it. In the near future, we will upgrade to a 12v watermaker that we can run off of our lithium batteries.
For now, we capture rainwater and are thankful it’s the rainy season.
Electricity – Lithium Powered, Solar Charged
Our #1 recommended upgrade on any off-grid home is Lithium Batteries.
Batteries supply our power for everything and are the heart of all of our electrical needs in the kitchen and throughout the vessel. The absolute best battery option available is lithium.
Why Lithium: gonewiththewynns.com/sailboat-tech-why-lithium-batteries
We have four Relion 12V 300AH batteries for a total of 1200AH. They have been going strong now for almost five years.
Discount! Relion is offering 5% off to all GWTW Fans! Just click the link and it will be automatically applied at checkout.
Because we are sailing in the (mostly) sunny tropics, solar power is our most efficient way to recharge our batteries. We have 1400 Watts of solar.
- 6 x 100-watt Flexible Solar
- 5 x 160-watt Rigid Panels on our Solar Arch
The original fridge/freezer built by Leopard died a couple of years ago. We will eventually rip them out and replace them with a built-in compressor-style fridge (what I call residential style) like the ones our friends on s/v Holiday installed from Isotherm: Isotherm CR130 Drink Fridge, and the CR90F Freezer.
For now, we have 2 different portable 12v fridge/freezers on board. Both can be used as either a fridge or freezer. So, we use one as a freezer and one as a fridge.
Over the years, the Snomaster has performed best. Because it’s our best performer, it is our freezer. It also has the best overall design, insulation and durability. There are a range of sizes to choose from and all the specs are listed on their website. We have the Classic Series 60L.
- Snomaster is offering a 7% discount for all GWTW fans! Just use discount code: WYNNS at checkout.
A few specs:
- Stainless steel cabinet, hinges, locks and handles
- Power Consumption: 66 watt
- 12/24 V DC 120 V AC
- Temp Range 50F to -8F, 10c to -22c
- Battery Monitor & Rundown protection
- 5 Year Compressor Warranty
Our Fridge is a domestic CFX 50 and while it doesn’t perform as well as our Snowmaster it has held up surprisingly well and is a fantastic backup to have onboard.
A few specs:
- Great space – Holds 72 12-oz. cans – 50L/53 qt./1.8 cu. ft
- Temp Range -8F to +50F (-22C to +10C)
- 120-volt AC, 12-volt DC or 24-volt DC power
- Battery Run Down Protection
Stove Top – Induction
Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop: https://amzn.to/39qchsA
Why Induction Cooking?
Induction cooking is all-around better than any electric, gas, or propane stove I have ever tried.
This technology has been around for decades but it’s just now starting to gain popularity. Which is fantastic because that means prices have gone down and selection has gone up.
- Most Energy Efficient – Induction is very energy-efficient, way more efficient than gas or electric burners.
- Less Heat – No heat is lost between the cooking surface and the pot keeping the kitchen cooler.
- Faster Cooking – Because no heat is lost, induction cooktops will bring water to a boil in half the time of a gas stove.
- Better Control – No guesswork needed, with exact temperature settings, you can cook at steady temps.
- Much Safer Than Gas Cooking – The primary dangers of gas stoves are carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks and toxin exposure. Now bring a sailboat into the mix. Gas is denser than air, so if it leaks, it will make its way to the lowest point…the bilges. Where it will stay until it is cleared out or something ignites it, which is scary to think about.
- Induction cooking does require special pans. You’ll need cast iron, magnetic stainless steel or essentially any pan that a magnet will stick to. Copper, aluminum, glass, and non-magnetic stainless steel (including 18/10 and 18/8) cookware won’t work.
- Tiny learning curve. Because this is such an incredibly efficient way to cook, I find using lower temp settings than what you would for gas or electric helps make the transition easier
WHY A PORTABLE, SINGLE BURNER IS BEST
Single induction burners are very efficient because they can use all the power (typically around 1,800 watts). Dual burners share those same 1,800 watts between two burners (if you are using both at the same time, which would be the idea). So, boiling water on one burner while trying to simmer something on another could prove challenging and not as efficient. Plus, the smaller size of the single unit makes it easier to use in small spaces and store away.
Also, keep in mind that most circuits are 15 or 20 amps and will max out at 1,800 or 2,400 watts. In other words, if you have two high draw devices like this (anything that cooks or heats) plugged into two separate outlets that are on the same 20 amp circuit, you’ll risk tripping the circuit breaker or blowing a fuse. Having two separate devices means you can spread the load on different lines. Also, makes sharing your workspace easier if you can spread the chefs out.
The Best Oven
Breville Smart Oven: https://amzn.to/2YpQ0VC
Probably the best toaster oven on the market! This small toaster oven is superior to most any full-size oven. It is small enough (15 x 17 x 10) to fit in our tiny galley but large enough to bake a 12-inch pizza, toast four slices of bread, or even roast a chicken (if you’re into that sorta thing).
I love its intuitive dials, nonstick interior, and black enamel pans it comes with. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.
GRILL & GRIDDLE
Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe: https://amzn.to/2BFv7wO
I fry eggs on it and make toast in the mornings. I grill up fish, make panini’s, french fries, tortillas, and well, anything that needs grilling or griddling.
I don’t have a lot of pots and pans and I don’t need them with this grill. It serves so many purposes and fills so many of my searing/grilling/cooking needs.
Like many of my kitchen faves, it fits the following criteria.
- Heat’s up fast.
- Provides even cooking and steady temps.
- Clean up is easy.
- Doesn’t break the bank
Oster Expressbake: https://amzn.to/3pyE3Zp
We’ve had this breadmaker for almost a decade and nothing beats freshly baked bread. And, a breadmaker makes it all ridiculously easy. In less than 5 minutes I can toss in a few ingredients, set it and walk away. A bread machine works great and will turn anyone into a rock star baker.
Don’t waste the cash or counter space on the bulkier machines with all the extra buttons, settings and gizmos. This simple machine is reliable and still has plenty of options and settings. There is a dough only setting we use for pizza, cinnamon rolls, buns…the list goes on.
Plus, as full-time travelers, we don’t carry much in the way of thank you gifts. When someone invites us over for dinner or helps us out in some way, we like to say thanks with a fresh, warm loaf of bread!
Homemade yogurt is so incredibly easy to make and the benefits of yummy pro-biotic-infused yogurt are undeniable. It’s incredibly good for your gut, your wallet, and the biggest kicker for us travelers…. availability. Some remote islands don’t have fresh produce, much less yogurt. We store a year’s worth of cultures in a small container in our freezer. We use fresh milk on the rare occasion we are in a country that has it. Otherwise, we use box milk (UHT). We make a fresh batch every week. This is why a yogurt maker is a must-have on our boat. We have the Dash because that’s what we could get but there are other options out there all similarly priced. It works just fine. If you have an instant pot, that also works.
- Yogurt Starters: https://amzn.to/3coM6Eo
- Dash Yogurt Maker:https://amzn.to/2PvGnia
- Other Yogurt Makers: https://amzn.to/36pncAZ
We consume a lot of smoothies but of course, there are lots of uses for a good blender. Frozen margaritas, soups, salsa, bean dips, hummus, guacamole, pesto…I could go on. I have the Breville Fresh & Furious and it works great. But one day, I will upgrade to a Vitamix.
- Vitamix 5200 – https://amzn.to/2OR5zyx
- (affordable luxury & best without stepping up to a Vitamix) Breville Fresh & Furious – https://amzn.to/2TKOlK1
I also have a Ninja Masterprep that I use as a food processor. It’s good for the price but doesn’t stand the test of time so I don’t recommend it. They only last 1-2 years and that isn’t worth a place in my kitchen. Nothing worse than cheap construction. I value quality and longevity over quantity.
Coffee & Tea
Afternoon tea, a handcrafted coffee, a fresh-baked cookie…what more could anyone want in life!?! We can think of a few things, but not many.
- Scale With Timer: http://amzn.to/2yJCIWk
- Electric Water Kettle: http://amzn.to/2gy8flL
We had a Bodum Burr Grinder for years and but, it bit the dust in Panama. The only grinder we managed to track down in Panama was a Cuisinart burr grinder. BUT, it’s NOT our top choice (beggars can’t be choosers) and we would not recommend it. Considering Panama is home to the most expensive coffee in the world, you would be shocked how difficult it was to find a good coffee grinder!
- Our (affordable) Dream Grinder: https://amzn.to/2M7NwIV
Ice Cream Maker
Those of you who have been with us for a while know that my love of ice cream runs deep. You also know I am an ice cream snob. I like the good stuff, made with real ingredients, no flavorings or strange unpronounceable chemical additives. Good ice cream is hard to come by and very expensive in the islands. So, this little pint-size ice cream maker has been a worthy addition.
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Niki and Jason, My first comment. Following the gen/starter fun, most starters are not mfg by the generator company. Maybe just maybe the starter you have is also used on many types equipment (cars, vans, trucks) . I’m sure you have checked with a auto repair shop for help. I just had to say it. Good luck! Really enjoy your videos.
Your videos all make me so happy! Can you start sharing more of your recipes and catalog them?! Everything you make looks delicious and I know you include recipes here and there but there’s not an easy way to search for them (I don’t think). Thanks in advance!
There’s a recipe tab on the main sailing page of the blog!
Get you a small Honda Generator EU2200 IC. Very portable, very low maintenance and will top off the batteries in a pinch. Can run 8 hours on a 2 gallon tank of gas and the new ones come with bluetooth app to keep an eye on it. Pretty quite especially when running at low charge (54 decibels) and the nice thing is its portable so after Covid and when you can really travel, you can use it inland on sight seeing trips.
We have an all-electric Lagoon 52f with nearly 4000 watts of solar, 80kW LiPol bank, and dual electric drive systems. By using a 30kW 72v diesel gen set, we get the most efficient use of diesel charging. Moreover, if the battery bank is charged, we can additionally motor sail under solar @ 3.0 Kts under sun with no wind or diesel. Once we removed the Volvo engines and kept the diesel tanks we freed up room and reduced weight.
Hey guy love your videos. Was wondering if the frig retro fit exhaust fan was pulling or pushing. If its pulling frig cabinet heat is it possible to reverse and make a floor (floor- drain) vent into bilge. If not your going to have a mini 24/7 cabin heater.
First, we really enjoy your videos.
Regarding the genset, you don’t state your daily consumption other than “after about five days the batteries are getting low.” Water generators require that you be moving. Wind generators are noisy and as you’ve noted most cruisers I’ve talked with would prefer to not have one.
We have a 2005 L40 with a small genset that also needs work. We have 600Ah of LFP battery and a Victron 3K inverter/charger. We can run one big 120vac load at a time (one airconditioner, one water heater, galley appliances). The aircon can run all night if it is set to a temperature where it runs at a 50% duty cycle or less.
If I had it to do over again I would not install the genset. I would double the battery bank (1000-1200Ah) and install 200-250A large-frame alternators with serpentine belts on each main engine with the best alternator regulator possible (WS500 https://shop.marinehowto.com/products/wakespeed-ws500-advanced-alternator-regulator). It includes the ability to cut back or turn off the alternator output when you need all the engine power to the prop and has LFP settings. This would require upgrading the wiring from the alternators to the batteries.
Our boat maintenance is documented at svlux.blogspot.com.
We’d be happy to continue the conversation (email or audio or video) if you’d like to brainstorm. Take care!
This is the most inspiring, crazy documentation of your off-grid life ever. It’s built up in pieces over time, but this one distills your essence into one big “WOW!!” Your water maker died. No problem, we’ve got rainwater! Your refrigerator died. No problem — these tiny coolers will do! Your propane stove isn’t necessary. Gone, and watch us roast our own coffee beans! Your GENERATOR died!?? No biggie…in fact, we may not even replace it! No cat litter? We’ll process some sand!! It’s raining and our batteries are nearly dead? Great day for tea!
In contrast, a blogger from Brooklyn recently posted a pathetically whiny blog about renting a luxury van for a weekend in January to try out the van lifestyle and he nearly froze to death in a Cracker Barrel parking lot in Philly. He was so unprepared and disappointed. The headline declared he’d “never do this again.” He clearly doesn’t watch Gone With the Wynns!
We are somewhere in the middle, having been RVers for 7 years now. Perhaps in part because my husband isn’t watching your inspiring videos, we are dependent on FHU 50A power, water, and sewer, not to mention DEF, an ACE Hardware, and fully stocked grocery stores for my vegetarian staples.
Don’t get me wrong, we love the RV life the way we live it. But your attitude, respect for the process, and solutions are truly inspiring. I will endeavor to stop hating on our Whirlpool microwave/oven combo. I probably need to stop complaining, too, about the two-burner induction cook-top that takes 25 mins to boil water. Next time my clothes dryer and electric fireplace fight each other for amperage, I’ll try to shut up. Just wow, guys. WOW.
Thanks for the wonderfully informative video!! I’ve been using a Breville oven for years and love it too. Expensive, but worth it! You both look great and upbeat, and glad your situation has improved so much!! It will only get better from here!! 🙂
Great video! Watch all your videos all the time (sometimes two or three times each). My hubby & I are just retired (58 yrs old each), and getting ready to get another RV. We had a 5th wheel for 10 years & would go find some out the way place and camp for a week or two (maybe too long for supplies/power on hand for boondocking). We’ve decided to get a used Class A diesel this time, but because of COVID there is a short supply. Once we find one, we’re hoping to follow your lead and covert to “off the grid.” I think I bring your names up daily to my hubby, “Nikki & Jason do this,” or “Nikki & Jason recommend.” QUESTION ?? Do you have a washer/dryer on Curiosity? Or do you wait until you get somewhere to wash clothes? (I don’t think you can’t run them on solar, and plus the water it would use). We’re struggling with whether to get a RV with a washer/dryer or not. Obviously, we’d have to plug in somewhere to run those. Anyway, bla, bla, bla … thank you for all your info, your fun videos, your insight. Take care. Be well. Stay safe. Janet & Sean, Las Vegas, NV
Yes! They do have a Splendide washer/dryer combo aboard. The washer doesn’t use a ton of power and can easily be run off the battery bank if they want. They usually just hang clothes to dry because the dry cycle on an all-in-one machine is long. You can wash multiple loads in the time it takes to wash/dry a single load. As an efficient front-loading machine it also uses little water (“little” being a relative thing with the much larger tank capacity of a boat vs. an RV).
As for getting a washer/dryer in the RV, that will largely depend on how you plan to live. You mentioned boondocking, and if you’re doing to boondock a lot then a washer/dryer isn’t terribly useful. Doing a couple of loads will use a LOT of your freshwater supply and will quickly fill up the greywater tank space. But if you plan to stay in campgrounds with full hookups, then those concerns go away. You could also do some hybrid of the 2: boondock until you need to dump/fill tanks anyway and then stay in a full-hookup site for a night or 2 while you get laundry done & do all your deep-cleaning.
Here’s the link to the machine they have. Even though this post is from the RV days, they have the same one aboard Curiosity: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/easy-rv-laundry
Hope that helps!
Also, what did you end up doing with the propane lines?
Probably easiest to just cap them off & leave them. Heaven knows how they’ve been routed through the boat to get there!
Seven On the Sea
I didn’t want to show my wife this video because we have the same boat (07 Leopard 43) and she hates the oven. I want to keep it and she wants to go electric, $$$. Quick question who do you have insurance through?
I totally enjoy the videos that you and Jason produce. You guys are a marvelous team. Would you consider doing a video on boat refrigerators?
I understand that your big refrigerator has failed so what are your options for the future? How large a refrigerator/freezer do you guys need on your boat? What is the energy cost of running your dream refrigerator freezer? Would you consider using the portable models for all your refrigeration needs?
I think you’ll get at least a partial fridge video when they get around to replacing the existing built-in unit. That original unit has been dead since 2018, so they have been using 2 portable units (a Dometic as a fridge and a SnoMaster as a freezer. Links to both can be found on the website – just search using the search bar) since then and it works really well for them but of course is a little less convenient since they aren’t in the galley. As for using them as full-time replacements, every portable 12v fridge/freezer I’ve ever seen opens from the top only, so even if you could build a cabinet to house them, you’d need to access them from the top and then you’d lose that valuable bit of counter/storage space. It would have to be an individual choice I guess.
Replacing the existing fridge/freezer has been a little problematic because they’ve been in the “middle of nowhere” but they did a lot of research and shopping while they were in the U.S. in the fall of 2019/spring 2020. Drawer units are a little to wide to put in the space of the existing fridge, and other units are too tall. So that’s why they’re waiting to get to either NZ or Australia to replace it: it will require demo of the existing cabinet and building in the new units. The new units are mentioned by name in the blog post: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/electric-off-grid-kitchen
David & Karen
Interesting tour – thank you Nikki and Jason.
Karen (and I for that matter) agree – gas heats up the galley – and the saloon. Our galley – the electric side – is microwave, toaster, kettle, coffee machine, and food processor. That leaves the cooktop and oven plus, BBQ as the gas side of it. So you have sown some seeds of contemplation now – thanks a heap, I may now have another thing to add to my ‘list’ :).
Anyway, you asked about back-up, so here are our thoughts:
Towable generator. Totally useless when you are sitting on anchor as you are now for extended periods, and don’t generate that much anyway when you are sailing (plus, that power is not free – you pay for it with boat speed. Not a lot, but …).
Wind generator. Have you been in a marina, or on anchor with your neighbours running one? Sailing is supposed to be about peace and quiet. They are getting better, but that whirring …. And what if the wind is not behaving?
Fuel cell. Expensive and you need to buy the fuel.
Generator. You have diesel in your tanks to run two big(ish) engines. It’s already there, so think about that. We have a beautiful little Onan 5.5kwA unit, that is a very quiet purr (you have to listen for it) in the background, and uses less than a litre an hour. We use it when we have the washing machine going, and if we need to make more than just a few litres of bit of water, but that’s about it.
Just nice to know that at the push of a button, you can have your own power station.
Also if you ever go for an electric outboard for your tender – that’s a bit of charging power you will need. And an electric dive compressor?
It gives you great flexibility and independence.
Our thoughts for what they are worth.
Thanks again for an interesting (and thought=provoking) episode.
David & Karen
(uh oh – Karen wants to see your video again – I can sense a shopping trip………..)
Nigel Calder has developed a new system for generating power.
Thanks for the tour of your galley. Annette and I cruised for 10 years, selling our beloved Tempest in Australia. It is always interesting to see how other boats approach problems. Each boat has it’s own challenges. We had a propane stove that we absolutely loved, but we cooked with gas all of our lives. It was not very challenging for us to source gas or adjust the stove for butane. I was surprised that people had smoking problems. We never worried that the gas would blow out because the thermocouple would turn off the supply. We had 3 wind generators, but in our 10 years, we rarely had all 3 for more than a week after rebuilding them many times. They just never lived up to the job for us. I also saw two horrendous injuries from people sticking their hands in a spinning windmill. We never had an A/C generator, but had a small DC set we ran a HP water pump off directly for the water maker and it had a large 200A alternator we charged batteries off of. We also had a large case alternator on the main engine. It always worked well, but we did replace the controller twice. Our Amel had an alternator that ran off the prop shaft while sailing. It wasn’t usable with our folding prop. We only had 600W solar. We had lead acid batteries, replaced after 8 years 960AH. They died during hurricane layup when the MPPT failed. We came home and lived 2 years in an RV, then bought another boat, this time a Cat. We fitted 800AH LiFePo4 and 1.4kW solar. Balmar 175 alternators. No generator. Frigoboat refrigerator and Freezer. After 2 years, I plugged it in to shore power for 20 minutes after we ran the microwave for the first time. We had no sun for a week before and were down 25%. The draw almost gave me a heart attack, but I was amazed at how fast the bank charged. This year has kept us at home, and 5 named storms kept the boat on the hard, as well as three new grandkids. We are eager to do some crew training. Annette and I are on the side of managing energy both by having energy production options and energy efficient gear. Our vote would be big alternators added to your engines. You shouldn’t have much run time. Just be sure it is above idle for cooling of the alternators and fuel efficiency. A watt and Sea would be good on passage, but 90% of your time you can’t use it, exploring and just hanging out must come first. Hope to see you out there sometime. Bob and Annette, Papi’s Pirogue, 1999 Privilege 42.
I know this isn’t what you really want to to, but I put in Renogy DCC50 DC-DC MPPT in my RV. It charges from the alternator when traveling and from solar when not traveling. It puts out 50A and has the bonus of keeping the engine battery charged as well while stopped (anchored). As little as it appears you need it, it may be just enough in a pinch to get you some amps.
Of course, a couple of more solar panels would be great if you have the space.
I found this video very interesting as we are considering living part of the year on our boat when we retire. I love to bake, so I’m gonna need an oven, and I’ve been curious about the one you have in your home. It is sooooo good to see you two back in your home. Stay safe and thanks for sharing your life’s adventures with us!
Hi Nikki and Jason. I don’t have any tips relating to a nautical kitchen! But, I do have to agree with Dean, above. The induction cooktop, the smart oven, griddler deluxe, bread, yogurt and ice cream makers are awesome workers in your kitchen\ however, Nikki is the most incredible thing in your kitchen.
Beyond that — I like Jason’s rain water system and I especially like the rain. I know when one is off grid and on top of that a sailor, one has to be informed and knowledgeable on many subjects and topics. You both do that very well, researching, uncovering and discovering every aspect and level quite well.
Thanks so much, Safe Travels, Happy Landings..
Nikki and Jason, thank you for sharing your adventures via your videos. I have followed you for many years and you make me smile! Nikki, thank you for the kitchen and appliance tour! I’m one of many who have been asking, what’s this or that. Now I’m going shopping!! I’ll see you next week.
love following your adventures and videos from Gatlinburg, Tn.
Mark and Lisa McGinley started me watching and I love it.
What a great and informative video! Thanks for the details.
I have spend some time looking at things you’ve addressed. My studies have shown that a Danfoss refrigeration compressor is best. Therefore make sure you freezer/fridge uses one. Also, make sure the walls use vacuum-insulated-panels (VIPs). R-50-60/inch will keep things really cold for a long time between electric usages.
Next I noticed the comment of using your keels to dump temperature. Great idea. It got me to thinking about the most cost effective heating and cooling you can have. Your number one investment, of course, is insulation. But a close second is using geothermal (aqua-thermal?). The water surrounding you has enough heating and cooling capability to use a simple electric 12v. heat-pump. People in houses have to bury pipes in the ground to get the same effect you can get with a couple pipes dangling in the water. It would work just like a mini-split, offering heating or cooling, but with much more efficiency. This is a no-brainer in your situation.
Finally, you are correct in thinking about both a water (hydro-drive?) generator and windmill(s). Delos and many others use a small windmill to generate supplemental electricity;some use two. Put them up or fold them down as needed. Of course water generators do not work unless you’re moving, but windmills work all the time there’s wind.
Hope these ideas help you. Thanks again.
The isotherm fridge we showed in the video and mentioned in the post we are thinking of is a 12v danfoss system.
We are considering both but need to spend more time researching to see if there are any new, more efficient wind and hydro options out there and need to speak with people who have them onboard. Everyone with wind that we talk to say they wouldn’t install it again if they had a do over. So we’re hoping something new has emerged in the last couple of years. If not, we may just upgrade our alternators. But we’ll discuss this more in an upcoming episode.
Wind energy has come a long ways in the last 30 years with a lot of good engineering behind it improving efficiency, cost and quality of power generated. Still is isn’t great, and I would never do it, just the potential for noise on a nice evening would do it. I would look for a better solution, likely a second alternator or connection the existing (upgraded alternator) so the diesel that could be only for battery charging. Having another engine onboard that just generates electricity seems odd being that space and storage come at such a premium.
Disclaimer: Not a sailor.
Your hydro power option only has the drawback of cost and drag. I believe that drag would be negligible. The wind power options are horizontal and vertical axis types. While most use the horizontal, there are the Darrieus and the Savonius types in the vertical styles, among others. These later types might be nice if you wish something quieter. Also, please remember that wind power is to keep things topped off, not to cover your whole load.
If you are going to run your engines, you will be using some of the horsepower to run the alternators. Nothing is free. But I have to wonder about the more efficient method of the genset you already own. Don’t buy bigger alternators; Just fix the starter on the generator. (Remember the air starter idea?) This is by far the most inexpensive method of diesel-powered electric generation (if you must use fossil fuels at all). You already own the generator and you have the shared fuel tanks. Compared to the main engines, the generator will barely sip the fuel. In your present state, this becomes a win/win cost wise. It should last indefinitely.
I agree on the repair what you have.. .it’s a balance. We run our home and rv somewhat like that, why discard what works -things do need repair of course – but cared for are an economical source of power. Having a plan for the future, for a better and more efficient/ less impactful source of energy is good too.
I’ve got the same Duxtop induction cooktop, and I use an anti-slip pad between the cooktop and any cooking pan. The pad is made of silicone and fiberglass, and works really well. It’s not in the same league as pot restraints that you might find on a gimballed propane stove, but works fine for cooking while at anchor. There’s a large choice of them on Amazon. If you get or fabricate pot restraints, remember that they need to be made of non-ferrous material so that they aren’t heated by induction.
Cyclops is also a lithium & lots-of-solar catamaran, and I have a portable Honda eu2200i gasoline-powered generator for backup. It’s super quiet, and the portability is nice for off-boat usage too.
Great tip, thank you. I don’t have access to amazon stuff but I will check it out for ideas. Maybe I can make something similar.
Good to see how you make all the wonderful food.
Michael R Robinson
Hello Nikki and Jason,
Check out Rick Moore on Sailing Sophisticated Lady!!! He is also on Patreon and YouTube. He also is total electric. He also understands a lot about sustainable generation; uses both wind and solar generation and has a fantastic NiCad battery array. Check it out……
He has Lithium batteries same as us which was a recent addition? Unless I missed something. Rick is awesome and I am happy to see he now has more solar and lithium.
Hi Nikki and Jason,
Fantastic video as usual. I’m looking at getting your Cuisinart Grill/Griddle but wonder if it smokes a lot?
And do you just open your portholes if it does?
It doesn’t smoke but we also don’t cook meat? Not sure if that makes a difference. Even still, we can have everything open with full wind coming in with no flames to worry about.
We have a microwave / toaster combo that I love. Cannot find a replacement. Any ideas out there?
For your ice cream/yoghurt/latte needs your better off buying full cream milk powder from New Zealand in a 25kg bag (= 1 year supply for 2 people – bakeries buy their milk this way & powdered it is how most of us enjoy milk in Asia where there aren’t many milk cows). I separate it into multiple 8.3L 4-side-lock tupperwares & toss in a camera box dessicator bag into each. Stores perfectly even in very humid Taiwan.
We do carry some powdered milk for baking but the UHT does give us better results for yogurt. As for ice cream, we use coconut cream! It’s my fave!
Now that you don’t have gas on your boat, your insurance should drop quite considerably, is this something you have considered ?
Ha, I wish as boat insurance is getting trickier every year to get, especially in the Pacific. They really don’t care as we have asked about it before.
It could make a difference for someone sailing locally with different insurance? Worth it for those people to inquire about. It does make for one less chance of a fire happening.
Hi Jason and Nikki, another informative vlog that you showed us how your new appliances were adjusting to your way of live.. Always love learning about new ideas and products that will make cooking a lot easier on the boat. Boat looks really good as well, Great job of getting back to seaworthy shape. Has all the virus and closing of countries changed your plans this year?. The area look so peaceful. Always enjoy each vlog thatk you for letting us tag along on each adventure.Take care , stay save and calm seas….
Thanks for the kitchen tour
Excellent video, as always. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful info re. your kitchen. Very helpful and interesting! Stay safe and happy! 💖
The most incredible thing in your kitchen is Nikki! She is cute as a button. I am easily old enough to be your daddy (70) and may never go to sea because I live 200 miles from the coast. I do look forward to Sundays because for several years, that’s when I visit with the Wynns each week.
I have learned a lot about sailing by watching your video’s and a dozen others. Who knows, some day I may chuck it all in, run away from home and buy a sailboat. Do you think an old man can afford to sail around the world with nothing but Social Security to finance his efforts?
How realistic is it to cross oceans, with a reasonable degree of comfort & safety, single handed? Jason, I do not have a wife. Did I mention I am in love with yours? I know the two of you had cats for several years. How much extra complexity and expense is entailed in taking a good dog to sea? (I am not a cat person)
What advice would you have for someone who did go to sea, about starting a you tube channel? I am more interested in your recommendations for the proper equipment to launch a you tube channel? Cameras? Computers, phones? Drones?
Your galley tour is OK, but I can eat cold pork & beans out of a can with a spoon. I am not a vegetarian, but assume we will all eat fish since I will not be able to catch cows, pigs and chickens in the middle of the ocean. I also favor mono-hulls over catamarans.
Come to think of it, a relationship with Nikki will never work. The is a vegetarian and I am a carnivore. She is cats, I am dogs. She is catamarans, I am mono-hull. But… I did grow up in Texas and I do hate spiders.
When you get to Australia, do you sell Curiosity & fly home? Turn around and sail back? Continue your circumnavigation? Looking at the map it seems to me you may have to go through pirate infested waters and you did not mention any cannon or cutlasses to repel boarders. I assume my South Carolina concealed weapon permit is not reciprocally recogized in foreign countries and by the Coast Guard? Any long term future plans to share?
I hope the attempted humor in my writing comes through. I am indeed guilty of flirting with Nikki, but I am an old fashioned Southern gentleman. Yours really is my favorite you tube channel. As always, I wish both of you safe travels, good health, fair winds and following seas.
Ha ha, you grew up in Texas and you hate spiders. Ok, we can still be friends. 😘
Hugely helpful. I am a bit of a systems guy, blame it on my careers in energy and aviation. Likely one of the most helpful overview with great specifics I have seen yet on the subject. I have already been generally considering whatever yacht I end up with to survey how she is equipped, and come up with a budget to ensure maximum solar / wind generation with lithium battery storage. Then, start down the same path you have regarding replacement / upgrade to get propane out of the cabin. I have a new Honda 3000 watt propane-fuel-converted generator that I will take for last-resort emergency use; but, as you have done, I want to simplify power solutions to electricity as much as possible / practical, as it is clear – finally – that the day of internal combustion for energy production is mostly ending. While I love my 2019 Sierra 3500 turbo diesel truck, if I were not going to sail for some unknown and long length of time, when the electrical conversion arrives for legacy ICE-powered vehicles (it will) , I would convert it to electrical propulsion, also. Really great video this week. Keep up the awesome work. Jason, there is nothing wrong with manual labor (rain catch meant process you demonstrated). Simple is frequently equivalent to better. I will likely do the same thing on s/v Kitty Hawk. Be safe!
*rain catchment – sorry typo!
Nikki – I didn’t mean to leave you out of my compliments and it seems I did. Your demonstration of your subject matter expertise on the topic of power management, and efficient use of the available electricity as your prime power resource was spot on. Brilliant and concise educational material. Really!! I specifically complimented Jason because some times in our silly and technically dysfunctional world, simple manual labor, in the case of catching rainwater for your consumption, is seen as “passé” and “low tech” as in bad form. Quite the contrary in this case, and many others. Anyway, my conscience was bothering me about my poorly worded reply to your post today, and I wanted to clarify what wrote, and congratulate you in yet another tour de force of practical education for all of us.
Oh you sweet man, I wasn’t feeling left out. I think your bromance is very cute. One day I will even have pictures of the two of you tinkering with something on the deck. I have a feeling it won’t be much longer until we call you neighbor.
Thank you the information about your electric kitchen. Just curious if you have ever considered switching to electric motors and getting rid of the diesel? A yacht company named Greenline has offered all electric or hybrid options and with your solar setup this may be an added off grid option.
We would love to but on our boat that is a 100k upgrade. Maybe if we get a surprise inheritance? 😆
You never cease to amaze me. Each week I’m left thinking, “That was the best video ever!” This week was no exception. Different from all others yet so well done, that I’m left with the same thought.
The information shared is perfect for me in our motorhome as we are in our 4th year full timing.
Much love and appreciation to both of you.
Sam and Sydney
Hi! Great vid and blog. On SV Eoti we’ve been working towards electric independence. We have 1100 watts of solar, but only 600whr of Relion Lithium. I’ve spent time on Delos going over their system with Brian. I also spent time with Force10 and GNespace product execs as built in is important because we’re a monohull (life on the lean). That is a big project involving flipping 110 to 220. On the fridge know you have a plan. We’ve struggled too. We’re going to go with keel cooled BD 50 units with variable speed and upgraded digital controllers. Key is getting heat out of the boat as we’re Caribbean Florida tropical. Have an amazing day and hope the sailing is great.
Love your videos. Especially love how you respect the island people and help when you can like the pet fund, and water filters. That touched my heart. Would you consider a vitamix? It will make ice cream, knead bread, make smoothies, chop vegs and cook soup. What about a crock pot. We have friends that cruise , fix meals and cook on low in a crockpot while on a cruise. They put the crockpot in the sink while underway. When they get there the meal is done! Would love to send you a vitamix.
I am still hoping for the day that you write a recipe book or even a book on using seasonal produce in your meals.
A small primus stove for emergencies (or cooking ashore) is all you need in case of an electrical problem. Like your set up.
Carolyn Quinn Reisman
Nikki, We live aboard a Leopard 43 in the Caribbean. We moved aboard just before lockdown! We had lithium batteries, a Victron inverter, and solar panels installed, but need two more panels to reach 1825 watts. I did a lot of careful planning for our galley and have many of the kitchen appliances you recommend. You and Jason inspired us! We have yet to take out our gas stove, but that is next. We use a single burner induction stove and love it! We also use a solar oven about half the time – GoSun Fusion. We have a Solavore for slow cooking. One thing we have that I absolutely love is a grain grinder. I have the Komo Classic. We buy bulk grains, seal them in Mylar bags, and grind as needed. We don’t have a yogurt maker yet. I used to make yogurt from fresh milk at home. A dream! I am really interested how you get along without a generator. We don’t have one and are a little worried about cloudy days. Best to you. Carolyn and Keith, sailing Home Berth.
Consider a 2021 F150 tow vehicle with on board 7 Kw generator!! Oh…wait… 😉
Honda 2200i companion generator. Yes it uses gas but you already have a gas outboard. It is slower than a installed diesel to charge batteries but it is also small. My husband said just get a installed diesel generator. We have the small Honda on our small boat (Ranger tug).
Thanks for the kitchen tour. Any thought about converting to electric motors vs diesel in the future?
Just want to ask, is you’re grill the same as a George Foreman? love the videos.
Michael, Dublin, Ireland.